Tenn. officials resist volunteering information in ESPN libel lawsuit

TENNESSEE -- University of Tennessee officials filed documents in federal court in September in an attempt to avoid the release of records the university claims are private and would cost thousands of dollars to assemble.

The ESPN television network subpoenaed the records, claiming they are required for the network's defense against a defamation suit filed by Tennessee football player Reggie Ridley and Victoria Gray, a former athletics department tutor.

Ridley and Gray filed their separate federal suits, each asking $2 million in damages, last year after the network alleged massive academic fraud by the school

College newspaper and high school editor receive Scholastic Press Freedom Award

The editor of a student newspaper who exposed the censorship of a student newspaper at a neighboring high school and a college newspaper that uncovered the details of a lavish contract given to their former university president received the 2000 Scholastic Press Freedom Award.

Nick Edwards, a former editor of the Stinger at Camarillo High School in Camarillo, Calif., and the staff of the Muleskinner, the student newspaper at Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg received the awards in November.

The award, sponsored by the Student Press Law Center and the National Scholastic Press Association/Associated Collegiate Press, is given each year to a high school and a college student journalist or student news medium that has demonstrated outstanding support for the free press rights of students.


Libel Lessons

Ian Lake called his principal "the town drunk." Ryan Lathouwers designed a Web site where users made anonymous submissions ridiculing a professor's sexual orientation.

Brian Condradt said 11 of his teachers worshipped Satan, while Justin Swidler likened his math teacher to Adolf Hitler.

And Joey Harrison and eight of his friends published a parody paper threatening to rape "the most fucked up teacher" on campus.

The common thread: They all ended up in court, facing charges of libel and invasion of privacy by those from whom they are supposed to learn. One case was dismissed.